Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Arts

Last Night’s Watch

Hannah Dunleavy talks Game of Thrones episode four, family reunions and the perils of indoor fires. Contains SPOILERS.

That be a woman's knight: Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) meets Brienne the Brave. Photos: HBO.

That be a woman’s knight: Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) meets Brienne the Brave. Photos: HBO.

Oh brother where art thou?

Let’s start with the least worst parts of ‘Book of the Stranger’, an episode that felt like it was treading water – even though some things actually happened – and has the dubious honour of being my least favourite episode of GoT ever.

Still, there were so many family reunions it felt like an episode of Surprise Surprise, but with gratuitous talk about shagging little girls instead of Cilla.

Three brother-sister reunions occurred, with varying degrees of success, and the Lannister twins managed to continue to share screen time without shagging. You take your victories where you can.

Stark choices

The Wall continues to be the most interesting location, with nearly – note, nearly – enough going on for me not to notice that Jon Snow has opted for a hipster bun. *Huge shudder*

Sansa continues to be as thinly sketched and contradictory as ever, pushed around by almost everyone, yet gung-ho at the idea of taking on Bolton’s much larger army and apparently unfazed by the danger it would put her brother in. (He might feel his death has bought him out of his Night’s Watch contract, but I’m not sure everyone is going to feel the same, or even believe him.)

“He might be able to flay a man, and indeed write a great threatening letter, but Ramsay Bolton is shit at peeling apples.”

More interesting than the Bastard/Bastard smackdown pre-chat was the backstage one between Brienne, the Red Woman and the Onion Knight. Two of them are responsible for killing someone the others cared for, which may or may not lead to tensions/slaughter down the road.

Still, a small ray of hope in the barely disguised admiration with which Tormund Giantsbane regarded Brienne the Brave. Best case scenario: they marry and produce a race of benevolent seven-foot strawberry blonde warriors who rule Westeros justly.

Hot in the Dothraki city tonight

By the gods old and new, could this be any duller? Daenerys’ story is the narrative equivalent of getting to within a mile of your house and then having to drive another 40 around roadworks.

Impressive though that blaze scene was, is there a single thing we learned from our time with the horse people we didn’t already know? The Mother of Dragons didn’t need saving. Check. Sir Jorah Greyscale and Daario 2.0 don’t really like each other. Check. Rape is the number one topic of conversation in Dothraki. Check. Emilia Clarke has great tits. Check.

Meanwhile, back in Meereen, “the dwarf and the eunuch” await their queen’s return, while trying to solve a problem like slavery. What a horrifying waste of two of the series’ best characters.

Lies, damn lies and Littlefinger: Aidan Gillen is back in the Vale. Twirl your moustache everyone.

Lies, damn lies and Littlefinger: Aidan Gillen is back in the Vale. Twirl your moustache everyone.

Returning character of the week

Petyr O’Baelish, who arrived back in the Vale in time to watch some of the worst archery since I last tried it, and metaphorically twirl his moustache, spin his web and think about the endgame, which none of us has the energy to do any more. More news as it gets thrown through the Moon Door.

Other thoughts

So long Osha. It was quick and you went fighting, which is about the best you can hope for in Winterfell.

He might be able to flay a man, and indeed write a great threatening letter, but Ramsay Bolton is shit at peeling apples.

Perfumed asses? Did he mean the men’s asses, or the horses?

The High Sparrow’s duller than a reformed smoker.

Has any job fallen in status so much as the Hand of the King? Ser Kevan Lannister is turning into the Nick Clegg of the Small Council.

I love the way the Dothraki fell to their knees in an ever-increasing circle, as if natural curiosity had brought them to the fire in the exact order in which they’d be impressed by The Unburnt’s unburntness.

The fat wait for McShane goes on.

Follow Hannah’s week-by-week Game of Thrones blog here

@funnypunts

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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.